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Documento de Trabajo 2008-03

Facultad de Ciencias Econmicas y Empresariales


Universidad de Zaragoza

FACTORS INFLUENCING E-DISCLOSURE IN LOCAL PUBLIC


ADMINISTRATIONS
Carlos Serrano-Cinca *
Departamento de Contabilidad y Finanzas
Universidad de Zaragoza, Espaa
http://ciberconta.unizar.es/charles.htm
serrano@unizar.es
Mar Rueda-Toms
Departamento de Contabilidad y Finanzas
Universidad de Zaragoza, Espaa
mrueda@unizar.es
Pilar Portillo-Tarragona
Departamento de Contabilidad y Finanzas
Universidad de Zaragoza, Espaa
portillo@unizar.es

ABSTRACT
This paper studies the determinants of voluntary Internet financial reporting (edisclosure) by local public administrations. It presents hypotheses regarding the
relationship between e-disclosure and city size, the issuing of municipal bonds, financial
features, Internet visibility, the level of e-government and diverse political aspects. It
also examines the influence of external factors, such as citizens' income level, their
educational level and their socio-political commitment. The hypotheses were empirically
tested, using a sample of 92 Spanish local public administrations. The data support the
hypotheses, with different levels of robustness, and show that size, political will and
citizens' income level all affect e-disclosure.

KEY WORDS
Local public administrations, Internet financial reporting, e-disclosure, egovernment
*

Corresponding author. Gran Va 2, 50005 Zaragoza, Spain. Telephone: +34 976762157. Fax number:
+34 976 761769. serrano@unizar.es

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FACTORS INFLUENCING E-DISCLOSURE IN LOCAL PUBLIC


ADMINISTRATIONS

1. INTRODUCTION
By consulting the websites of companies listed on the Stock Exchange we can
discover, in the majority of cases, how much their President earns, the allowances
received by their directors and other data regarding their finances. Various countries
have adopted legislative measures which require firms to disclose financial information
via the Internet and which promote corporate governance codes. In the case of Spain,
legislation requires firms which are quoted on the Stock Exchange to maintain a website
which includes information for investors. By contrast, a quick glance at the websites of
Spanish local public administrations reveals that many of them do not offer even
minimal budgetary information, and certainly not the mayor's salary, paid for by
citizens. Only in one of the approximately 100 town halls studied do we find complete
financial and non-financial information, including councillors earnings, a clear example
of Do as I say, not as I do. This has motivated us to undertake an analysis of the
financial information available on local public administrations websites and the
circumstances which favour such disclosure.
There can be no doubt about the role played by technologies in the improvement
of the organisation itself and its contribution to the increase in citizens participation in
political decision-making (Moon, 2002). Electronic democracy initiatives such as
participatory budgets, electronic voting or information collection via forums and
citizens blogs permit greater popular participation in the democratic processes. The
Internet offers the possibility of increasing interaction between citizens and the
administration, which is what distinguishes it from the traditional public administration
(Chadwick, 2003).
Recent legislative reforms encourage citizen participation in local public life. In
the case of Europe, the European Committee of Ministers Recommendation 19/2001
established the basic principles of local democratic participation policies. This
recommendation has stimulated the development of various national regulations. In the
case of Spain, Law 57/2003 regarding Measures for the Modernisation of Local
Government and Law 11/2007, which regulates Electronic Access by Citizens to Public
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Services, recommend governments to incorporate citizens participation policies and


establish the legal framework for local authorities to also adopt such policies.
From the empirical point of view, Katchanovski and La Porte (2005) analyse
whether the level of democracy affects the openness of electronic governments, which
in turn creates new possibilities for interaction between citizens and governments. The
openness of electronic governments index employed in the study includes, among other
factors, the information provided by the administration on its website. The analysis
shows that the level of democracy affects the openness of electronic governments,
creating new possibilities for citizen-administration interaction.
Wang and Rubin (2004, page 363) define e-government as a way for the
government to use internet technology and applications (e.g. the websites) to provide the
public with more convenient access to government information. Brown (2005, page
243) argues that e-government creates vehicles for services to the public and also
create a direct relationship between the citizen and state service providers. The same
study states that it has only been with the development of e-government that the
information assets of government have been understood to be as important as the
financial and human resources that have been the traditional focus of public
administration (Brown 2005, page 248).
The advantages of the Internet for the dissemination of information have clearly
indicated the possibility of increasing transparency in public life. As Kim et al (2005)
state, technologies can supply important information more opportunely and contribute to
administrative processes becoming more transparent. In the understanding of the OECD
(2003), the greater capacity for broadcasting information over the Net has increased the
pressure upon public administrations to practice greater transparency. The eEurope
plans for 2002, 2005 and 2010 for the development of electronic government underline
the improvement in transparency and presentation of accounts to citizens. Organisms
such as the International Monetary Fund and the OECD have established codes for good
practice, concerning transparency. Finally, for King (2006), as traditional concepts of
democracy are communication-rich, the value of the potential of the Internet as an open
and accessible agora is clear. However, a power shift to the users will not occur without
political leadership.

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The article proposes a series of hypotheses concerning the factors which


encourage town halls to disclose their financial information via the Internet. Firstly, it
analyses, for the case of town halls, some of the classical hypotheses of accounting
research, employed in pioneering studies (see, for example, Buzby, 1975; Singhvy and
Desai, 1971; Zimmerman, 1977), or other more recent work (Caba et al., 2005; GinerInchausti, 1997; Gore, 2004; Laswad et al., 2005; Patten, 1991). These studies utilise as
explanatory factors of disclosure the size of the entity, the use of financial markets for
financing, the financial features of the entity and the influence of political aspects such
as the degree of political competition, the political affiliation of the mayor or the fact of
governing in minority (Baber, 1983; Clark, 1994; Evans and Patton, 1987; Ingram,
1984).
The present paper reformulates other classical hypotheses and proposes new
factors which affect disclosure. Press visibility is a determinant of disclosure (Ingram,
1984; Laswad et al, 2005; Zimmerman, 1977), but in the case of e-disclosure we believe
it more appropriate to analyse Internet visibility, measured using specific search engine
tools (Drze and Zufryden, 2004; Thelwall, 2001). Serrano-Cinca et al (2004) find a
relationship between the strategic decision to exploit the Internet made by companies, as
measured by the number of online services they offer their clients, and e-disclosure.
Transferring this reasoning to the public sector, we hypothesise a positive relationship
between e-government and e-disclosure. Politicians are responsible for implementing egovernment actions, as this is only in its incubus. Within a few years it will be a matter
of routine to implant e-government actions; today, however, this often depends on
politicians political will. And, of all possible government actions, those which depend
most heavily on the will of the Mayor and his or her governing team are precisely those
related to electronic democracy.
Debreceny et al (2002) suggest some external factors, particular to each country,
which may influence e-disclosure, while the present study considers as external factors
the income level of citizens, their use of communication technologies or their sociopolitical commitment. We argue that the greater the income and eduactional level of
citizens and the greater their socio-political commitment, the stronger will be their
pressure upon their local authorities to disclose via the Internet, whose level of edisclosure will consequently increase.

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The paper is structured as follows. Section 2 includes a specific description of


the general characteristics of local administrations in Spain. Section 3 presents the
theoretical framework. Section 4 develops a set of hypotheses regarding the disclosure
of information via the Internet by local public administrations. Section 5 presents the
research design i.e. an empirical study employing data from Spanish town councils.
Section 6 presents the results of testing the hypotheses. The final section offers the
conclusions reached.

2. LOCAL ADMINISTRATIONS IN SPAIN


Spain is a regional state i.e. it is characterized by a substantial autonomy
achieved without a profound restructuring of the state (Rodrguez-Pose, 2002). One
characteristic is it asymmetry; this means its historical regions or regions with the
greatest sense of national identity enjoy higher levels of autonomy, while the remaining
Autonomous Communities enjoy an average level, although the gap has narrowed in
recent years. Concretely, Spain comprises 17 Autonomous Communities, which control
over 35% of total public sector expenditure. The municipalities are the basic local
entities in the territorial organization of the State, whose governmental and
administrative organs are the town halls. The government and the administration
correspond to the town hall, comprised of the mayor and the councillors, who are
elected by citizens via universal suffrage. The municipalities manage approximately
13.5% per cent of total public expenditure.
The town halls are autonomous and possess full legal personality, regulatory
self-government powers and are responsible for organizing and developing the provision
of the most immediate public services to citizens. Law 7/1985, on the Regulation of the
Bases of Local Government establishes the minimum services which town halls must
offer, depending on their population level. The services provided by Spanish local
governments are similar to those delivered by almost all European Union cities. This
said, only the larger municipalities participate in education and health services, which
are the responsibility of the regional government; see Torres and Pina (2004) for a
description of the local Spanish administration.

Nevertheless, the town halls

administrative management is not limited to the provision of services, but also includes
the preparation of budgets, presenting accounts and establishing links with citizens,

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companies and other governmental organisms.


Local government reform in Spain, initiated by Law 57/2003 on Measures for
the Modernization of Local Government underlines the necessary application of
information technologies in order to contribute to the transparency of government
information. The Law refers to the role of technologies as a medium for the performance
of administrative procedures and the presentation of documents.
In Spain, as in the rest of the world, advances have recently been made in
promoting citizen participation, which is the very foundation for democratic
development. Law 11/2007, which regulates Electronic Access by Citizens to Public
Services, contributes toward bringing the administration closer to citizens and the
interoperability of IT systems. This Law underlines the need to increase citizen
participation and involvement and states that technologies are a medium for facilitating
citizen participation.
Devolution is a general trend involving countries from many different
geographical areas (Everingham et al., 2006; Rodrguez-Pose and Sandall, 2008). Spain
forms part of this tendency. According to Rodrguez-Pose and Gill (2003) Spain, despite
not being a federal state, is arguably the most decentralised state in Western Europe.
There exists a long debate concerning the possible effect of devolution upon
transparency. The reduced distance between politicians and their electorates can
potentially increase political accountability, transparency and participation (RodrguezPose and Tijmstra, 2007). In general it is assumed a superior transparency of
administrations that are closer to the people, but the empirical evidence is inconclusive
(Rodrguez-Pose and Bwire, 2004). Ezzamel et al (2004) studied the relation between
devolution and transparency in the UK case and concluded that devolution has produced
more openness and transparency. They claim that devolution has significantly and
unequivocally contributed to a more consultative, transparent and democratically
accountable government in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. However, in the
Spanish case, Torres and Pina (2004, page 461) conclude that Spain shows initiatives
in territorial devolution but the absence of management devolution to line departments
and managers, clear lines of responsibility and performance indicators, have turned
initiatives such as the introduction of accrual accounting in the 1980s into superficial
changes. They argue that the lack of coherence between devolution and budgetary and
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accounting changes explains why Spain has not been able to transform the public sector
as sharply as the UK. The case of Italy is similar, where Fedele and Ongaro (2008)
conclude that, despite devolution, Italian regions have not made their administrative
routines to be more accountable.
The other principal aspect of the debate concerns those factors alleged to affect
disclosure and transparency following devolution. For Fedele and Ongaro (2008)
transparency in regional governments following devolution is apparently influenced by
the organisational capacity of the key organizations involved and by the audit and
evaluation processes employed. The Scottish government administration practiced a
higher degree of disclosure and accountability, such as value-for-money or performance
auditing, while in Italy and Spain regional managerial capacity was reduced and audits
concentrate on compliance with financial regulations.

3. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
Many factors, widely studied in accounting research, lead entities to disclose
information (see, for example, Ahmed and Courtis, 1999; Garca-Meca et al, 2005;
Gibbins et al, 1990; Giner-Inchausti, 1997; Healy and Palepu, 2001; Verrecchia, 2001).
For public bodies, a key aspect is the regulation of the public right to access to
information (Gore, 2004; Ingram and DeJong, 1987). Various countries have passed
Freedom of Information Acts (FOIAs) which regulate the right to free access to
information

regarding

public

administrations

and

whose

objectives

include

accountability to citizens, thereby contributing to transparency in public administration


(Turle and Horden, 2005).
In the public sector, the voluntary provision of information has been seen as a
way of limiting conflicts between citizens and politicians and forms part of agency
theory (Banker and Patton, 1987; Leftwich et al, 1981; Zimmerman, 1977). Agency
relationships in the public sector provide incentives to public sector managers to
voluntarily disclose information that allows their actions to be monitored (Laswad et al,
2005).
Numerous studies have analysed the influence of political factors upon
information disclosure. Ingram and DeJong (1987) perform an empirical analysis of the

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relationship between local government financial disclosures and the economic


incentives of political managers. Baber and Sen (1984) study the influence of the
political process upon the adoption of standard reporting methods. Giroux (1989)
proposes three disclosure indices which summarise financial disclosure and different
variables which affect these indices, related to political competition, bureaucratic power
and political structure.
Another theory which explains the voluntary revelation of information by public
administrations is legitimacy theory. Legitimacy is defined as a generalised perception
or assumption that the actions of any entity are desirable, proper, or appropriate within
some socially constructed system of norms, values, beliefs and definitions (Suchman,
1995, page 574). The voluntary disclosure of information has been considered to award
legitimacy to companies and entities (Brown and Deegan, 1998; Patten, 1992;
Woodward et al, 1996).
Numerous articles have dealt with Internet financial reporting (Ashbaugh et al,
1999; Debreceny et al, 2002; Deller et al, 1999; Larrn and Giner, 2002; Laswad et al,
2005; Lymer, 1999; Meijer, 2007; Pirchegger and Wagenhofer, 1999; Xiao et al, 2004).
Healy and Palepu (2001) are correct in predicting the increasing use of the Internet for
the voluntary disclosure of information. According to Jones and Xiao (2004, page 238),
the Internet has the power to revolutionise external reporting.
Laswad et al (2005) analyse determinants of Internet financial reporting by local
government authorities; their study is based on New Zealand practices, and the authors
propose further studies in other countries, which would help to develop a comprehensive
and predictive model of Internet disclosure for the public sector.

4. HYPOTHESES
Having reviewed the literature on e-disclosure, we gathered the factors which
lead local public administrations to disclose financial information via the Internet into
three dimensions. The first dimension is the characteristics of the entity, and
corresponds to the first three hypotheses: size (H1), municipal bond (H2) and financial
features (H3). The second represents political aspects and includes the hypotheses
regarding the political situation (H4) and e-government (H5). The remaining hypotheses

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(H6, H7 and H8) are grouped within the environmental dimension.


We will present, for each hypothesis, their underlying theoretical justifications
and the results obtained in various empirical studies.

4.1. Disclosure incentives: size


Classical theories of financial information disclosure predict a positive and
significant relationship between size and disclosure. In agency theory, conflicts of
interest are more likely in larger cities and the advantage of disclosing information is
correspondingly greater. In line with Zimmerman (1977, page 132) we would expect
small cities to publish annual reports less frequently than large cities. Legitimacy
theory also propounds a positive relationship between size and disclosure, as the varied
pressures upon town halls to be transparent are greater in larger councils. In the business
sector, this theory has been tested by Adams et al (1998) and Patten (1991).
Furthermore, West (2000) and Torres et al (2005) have argued that the publishing of
information on the Internet represents an innovation, and larger administrations have
greater possibilities of innovation than their smaller counterparts.
From the empirical point of view, a meta-analysis of 29 studies of disclosure,
performed by Ahmed and Courtis (1999) confirms significant and positive relationships
between disclosure levels and size, in the majority of such research. The bibliographical
review by Larrn and Giner (2002) reaches the same conclusion. In the field of public
administrations, Ryan et al (2002) find that size is positively associated with annual
disclosure reports by Australian local governments. The study made by Ingram and
Robbins (1988) of American local governments also relates the extent of disclosure to
size. Christiaens (1999) and Magann (1983) find similar results. In summary, there exist
numerous theoretical arguments and empirical evidence which support the following
hypothesis:
H1: There is a positive association between size and e-disclosure.

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4.2. Disclosure incentives: financing via the markets


Local authorities have the possibility of using the financial markets to obtain
financing through debt emission. Creditors both demand and value informational
transparency. In accordance with agency theory, when public administrations recur to
these markets they fulfil greater demands for information disclosure, in order to
minimise conflicts of interest between creditors and politicians (Baber and Gore, 2006;
Baber and Sen, 1986; Gore, 2004; Zimmerman, 1977) analyse the relationship between
the level of financial information offered by local governments and the use of the bond
markets, finding a positive relationship between the two variables. In the business sector
the empirical evidence shows a significant and positive relationship between listing
status and disclosure levels (Ahmed and Courtis, 1999). Ettredge et al (2001) find a
positive relationship between the degree of voluntary information disclosure and the
need for companies to obtain new financing in the markets. We propose the following
hypothesis:
H2: There is a positive association between issuing municipal bonds and edisclosure.

4.3. Disclosure incentives: financial features


For the business world, numerous studies analyse the relationship between
disclosure and financial features; Singhvi and Desai (1971) argue that companies with
the best performance in financial terms, such as profitability, sales or profits, will have a
greater interest in publishing their financial information, in order to present a better
image to their shareholders or potential investors. Concepts such as profitability, sales or
profits cannot be easily applied to public administrations, but there exist numerous
indicators of performance (Behn, 2003).
When testing the relationship between financial features and disclosure the
results are not conclusive (Ahmed and Courtis, 1999). While a positive relationship is
documented by Roberts (1992), Neu et al (1998) find that disclosure increases when
performance declines. In other studies, such as that by Giner-Inchausti (1997),
statistically significantly results are not observed. Although in some firms belonging to
concrete sectors and countries it has indeed been shown that companies with the best

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annual accounts reveal more information we do not expect this to be the case of Spanish
town halls of a certain size. To expect that entities with brilliant statements of accounts
reveal more than those public administrations which are undergoing some type of
financial difficulty would be a manifestation of the lack of democratic maturity within
those Spanish public administrations.
We propose the following hypothesis:
H3: The financial features in local governments is independent of e-disclosure.

4.4. Disclosure incentives: municipal policy


Local public administrations are governed by politicians, and the influence of
both political ideas and the different situations facing local authorities may be reflected
in aspects such as e-disclosure. An important circumstance is whether or not the local
authority governs in majority and, in addition, its degree of political competition (see,
for example, Baber, 1994; Baber and Sen, 1984; 1986; Clark, 1994; Evans and Patton,
1987; Ingram, 1984; Laswad et al, 2005; Zimmerman, 1977).
However, from the empirical point of view the results are not conclusive. Evans
and Patton (1987, page 149) find that high political competition has an unexpectedly
negative sign in the overall sample. Laswad et al (2005) find that there is greater
political competition to become councillors in town halls which disclose information via
the Internet than in those which do not. Giroux (1989) finds evidence that accounting
disclosures are at least marginally related to political/economic incentives. The
following hypothesis is therefore proposed:
H4: There is a positive association between political factors affecting local
governments and e-disclosure.

4.5. Disclosure incentives: e-government


A broad definition of e-government must include electronic communication,
both within public administrations and with the various actors with which they interact,
such as companies, citizens and other administrations (Conroy and Evans-Cowley,
2006; Layne and Lee, 2001; Moon, 2002; Norris and Moon, 2005; van den Berg and van

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Winden, 2002). Marche and McNiven (2003, page 75) provide a precise definition,
which includes e-services and e-contents: e-government is the provision of routine
government information and transactions using electronic means, most notably those
using Internet technologies, whether delivered at home, at work, or through public
kiosks.
Firms which have decided strongly in favour of a strategic use of the Internet
disclose more financial information via this medium, as Serrano-Cinca et al (2004) state.
They find that financial entities which provide advanced electronic banking services are
also leaders in e-disclosure. Debreceny et al (2002) find that technology is a determinant
of Internet financial reporting. For Xiao et al (2004), greater familiarity with the Internet
and an interest in being a leader in the employment of new technologies are
circumstances which favour e-disclosure. Politicians are responsible for implementing egovernment actions. Thus, Internet financial reporting requires public administrations to
have sufficient knowledge, political will and technological resources, and those councils
which have implemented more e-government initiatives will tend to disclose more
financial information or, in formal terms:
H5: There is a positive association between e-government and e-disclosure.

4.6. Disclosure incentives: Internet visibility


Various authors have argued that visibility is a determining factor of disclosure
(Ingram, 1984; Laswad et al, 2005; Lim and McKinnon, 2003; Zimmerman, 1977). The
study by Zimmerman (1977) shows that press and public media influence the agency
relationship. Lim and McKinnon (2003) find a positive correlation between political
visibility and voluntary disclosure of financial information. Laswad et al (2005) find a
positive association between the frequency of press reporting of local government
activities and the voluntary use of Internet financial reporting by local authorities.
Legitimacy theory also argues that the most visible entities will disclose more
information, due to the pressures they face (Cormier et al, 2004; Magness, 2006).
We shall include a different nuance, since we consider that when studying edisclosure it is more appropriate to talk of Internet visibility, as a measure of the
popularity of a webpage or site. Visibility on the Internet is measured by variables

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which calculate the positioning of the website in search engines and also by calculating
the impact of the site upon social networks, such as weblogs. Internet visibility is a key
aspect in e-commerce, since those shops which are most highly visible receive more
visitors, who of course are potential customers (Drze and Zufryden, 2004; Thelwall,
2001).
We believe that Internet visibility may be an explanatory factor with regard to
information disclosure, since local public administrations which make greater use of the
Internet are subjected to greater pressure from Internet users and, in response to such
pressure, are more prone to disclose information on their websites. We propose the
following hypothesis:
H6: There is a positive association between Internet visibility and e-disclosure.

4.7. Disclosure incentives: citizens' wealth.


Circumstances which are external to the local public administration, such as the
economic level of its citizens, may affect the decision to disclose information.
Technological and income level generally go hand in hand. In line with Ho (2002), in
the specific case of Internet information disclosure, cities with a lower per capita income
are less likely to adopt progressive web design, due to lower demand for web-based
services. Other studies include per capita income as an explanatory variable (Cheng,
1992; Ingram, 1984; Ingram and Copeland, 1981; Robbins and Austin, 1986). In local
authorities whose citizens make greater use of information technologies, an environment
is created which stimulates governments to offer services and information, including edisclosure via the Internet. The greater the proportion of Internet users, the greater is that
of citizens potentially receptive to the consultation of this type of financial information
via the Internet.
We propose the following hypothesis:
H7: There is a positive association between citizens' wealth and e-disclosure.

4.8. Disclosure incentives: citizens cultural level


Other external aspects, such as citizens political awareness, or degree of social

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commitment or culture, or citizens education level may affect information disclosure. A


local authority whose citizens are highly socially and politically aware is more likely to
publish financial information, as a result of the pressure they exert. Various researchers
have demonstrated a relationship between social variables and information disclosure
(Cheng, 1992; Debreceny et al, 2002; Ingram, 1984; Ingram and Copeland, 1981).
Ingram and Copeland (1981) include in their study variables such as population
composition, economic activity and employment concentration. Ingram (1984) and
Cheng (1992) include in their studies the educational level of the population as an
explanatory variable of disclosure. In the business world, using data for companies in 22
countries, Debreceny et al (2002) show that an index of the overall financial reporting
environment, comprised of various cultural factors, is strongly significant in predicting
e-disclosure.
McNeal et al (2007) analyse the influence of state-wide professional networks
and interest groups upon the extent of e-disclosure, and emphasise the importance of
certain types of interest groups i.e. those which strongly influence the expansion of edisclosure policies. Likewise, they claim that income and education, are also important
factors in e-disclosure policy. According to Evans and Yen (2005, page 368), countries
with substantially lower levels of education will have users that are not intuitively
familiar with basic screen forms. Chaudhuri et al (2005) find that a higher degree of
educational attainment and whether one is a student are both positive and significant
predictors of Internet subscription.
The following hypothesis is proposed:
H8: There is a positive association between citizens cultural level and edisclosure.

5. RESEARCH DESIGN
This section presents the sample used and justifies the variables selected to test
the hypotheses of the empirical study.

5.1. Sample
The hypotheses were tested by a study of Spanish local public administrations.
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All provincial capitals and all town halls with over 70,000 inhabitants were considered.
The sample employed to test the hypotheses comprises 92 local authorities (Table 1),
and the data from their websites were compiled by the research team in June 2006.
****
Table 1
****

5.2. Disclosure variables


For each local public administration we completed a questionnaire comprised of
9 variables related to the disclosure of financial information (Table 2). To select the
variables we reviewed Spanish legislation regarding local government financial
disclosure (Crcaba-Garca et al, 2002). The 9 variables include information concerning
the individual budget of the town hall, (BUDG1), the consolidated budget (BUDG2), the
budget of dependent entities (BUDG3), the budget disaggregated by economic,
functional or organic classification (BUDG4), budgetary information regarding
investment, borrowing or revenue and expenditure (BUDG5), the individual annual
accounts (ACC1), the consolidated annual accounts (ACC2), the annual accounts of
dependent entities (ACC3) and the audit report (AUDIT).
****
Table 2
****
Table 2 shows that 49 of the 92 town halls (i.e. 53.26%) disclose financial
information regarding their budgets or annual accounts (e-DISCL). Some town halls
present their financial data exquisitely, while others have barely adequate websites
which include no financial information. Slightly more than half of the town halls
(53.26%) make their individual budgets available on the Internet (BUDG1). 35.86% of
local authorities disclose their consolidated budgets (BUDG2). Budgets disaggregated
by budgetary items are presented by 28.26% (BUDG4), while only two offer their audit
report (AUDIT) and only one presents its complete annual accounts on its website

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(ACC1).

5.3. Hypothesis-testing variables


The variables utilised to test the hypotheses and their definitions are shown in
Table 3.
****
Table 3
****
To measure the size of the entity (Hypothesis 1), population (POPUL) and
budget revenue (REVEN) were employed. POPUL was obtained from the Spanish
Statistics Institute and REVEN from the Spanish Ministry for Public Administration.
The data are for 2004.
The variable BOND is a dichotomic variable which assigns the value of 1 if the
town hall has municipal bonds in circulation and 0 otherwise (Hypothesis 2). In Spain,
Royal Decree 705/2002 regulates the Authorisation of Public Debt Issue by Local
Authorities. The public debt issued by local authorities must be similar to State debt
issue, with regard to the conditions established. Public debt issue requires authorisation
from the Ministry of Economy, which checks the financial-economic situation of the
local authority. Concerning size, any municipality may issue debt. The only difference is
that entities with more than 200,000 inhabitants and which periodically issue public debt
can voluntarily take advantage of a fast-track request procedure. The information source
is the Central Bank of Spain.
To analyse the influence of financial features upon e-disclosure (Hypothesis 3),
five variables were obtained. The ratio of self-financing (SELF) measures taxes on
current income. If this ratio is high, it means that the town hall is little dependent on
other public administrations for sources of financing. The ratio of financial expenditure
to total expenditure (FINANC) is indicative of the entitys debt, and the lower its value
the better for the entity. The ratio of operating expenses to total expenses (OPERAT)
has been included; the values of the ratio should be low, since this would indicate that
the expenditure item for the maintenance and operation of services is low in relation to

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the total. INV is the ratio of investment per inhabitant and TAX is the ratio of tax
revenue per inhabitant. The source for this information was the Spanish Ministry for
Public Administration.
To analyse the influence of political aspects upon e-disclosure (Hypothesis 4),
three variables were obtained. The degree of political competition was measured by the
ratio of candidates presented to councillors elected (COMP). The variable COAL
measures coalition situations in the town hall. The value of 1 is assigned to governments
with an absolute majority, 2 to governments who enjoy a relative majority and govern
alone, 3 to a two-party coalition and 4 to a multi-party coalition. The variable POLOR
assigns a score according to the position of the government on the left-right spectrum.
That is to say, 0 indicates a right-wing government with an absolute majority and 8
represents a left-wing government with an absolute majority. Intermediate values
indicate coalitions with centrist or nationalist parties.
Hypothesis 5, regarding e-government, was tested using three variables (eSERV,
eCONT and eDEM). Each of them measure different aspects of the e-government
dimension. The 3 variables were constructed by adding together a set of distinct items.
A count was made of the number of transactions which citizens are able to perform via
the Internet (eSERV), including the services listed in the eEurope 2005 Action Plan, a
project endorsed by the European Council of Ministers and aimed at developing modern
public services. There is a maximum of 18 administrative procedures, which range from
applications for building licences to the obtaining of electoral register enrolment.
E-government offers much more than shorter queues; according to the European
Commission (2005, page 1) the public sector can be made more open and transparent,
delivering governments which are more comprehensible and accountable to citizens,
and thus a checklist was completed of the contents offered on the municipal website
(eCONT). . eCONT measures the general information which town halls supply to
citizens (geographic data and access to the municipality, transport, tourist information,
the weather forecast, etc.), as well as information regarding the internal organisation of
the entity. The checklist was established by Serrano-Cinca et al (2003) and includes 24
highly varied aspects, ranging from weather forecasts to traffic reports.
The variable eDEM measures the number of e-democracy actions implemented.

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DTECONZ 2008-03: C. Serrano, M. Rueda & P. Portillo

eDEM includes 5 instruments through which citizens may give their opinion or
participate in decision-making, and returns a score between 0 and 5. These instruments
are: forums, a citizens mailbox, online surveys, chat rooms, and experience of
electronic voting.
Hypothesis 6 proposes measuring Internet visibility, as an alternative to press
visibility. Press visibility is usually measured by counting the number of news items
concerning the local authority which appear in the press, as Laswad et al (2005) state. In
the case of the Internet, a visible website is one which receives a large number of
backlinks from other websites. The number of backlinks to a website is an important
factor in the ranking process employed by search engines. The creators of Google, Brin
and Page (1998, page 109), recognize that Academic citation literature has been
applied to the Web, largely by counting citations or backlinks to a given page. This
gives some approximation of a pages importance or quality. An estimation of these
backlinks may be obtained by utilising a special command possessed by some search
engines, and consists of entering linkdomain, followed by the website address (Brock
and Zhou, 2005). We entered this instruction using the MSN search engine (LINKS).
Municipal website visibility in the Blogosphere was also measured, counting the number
of posts on blogs according to the Technorati search engine (POSTS). Only those
comments which include the municipal Internet address were counted, and not those
which merely offered an opinion of the city.
Hypothesis 7 concerns the income level of citizens. Disposable family income
per inhabitant of the council (WEALTH) was selected to measure income level. The
variable was scaled in 10 brackets, on the basis of data provided by the Spanish
Statistics Institute. With regard to the technological level of citizens, reliable data do not
exist in Spain at the municipal level, but only for the region to which the local council
belongs.
Education level and socio-political commitment (Hypothesis 8) was measured by
3 variables. The first is voter turnout at elections (VOTE). The degree of community
involvement was measured by calculating the number of civic associations in the
municipality, divided by the number of inhabitants (ASSOC). The third variable is the
average number of years of education (EDU), calculated as in the work by Barro and
Lee (2001). The data were taken from the annual social report published by the research
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DTECONZ 2008-03: C. Serrano, M. Rueda & P. Portillo

department of a financial entity, La Caixa.

5.4. Statistical techniques employed


ANOVA and a non-parametric test of means were used as analysis techniques to
test the hypotheses. An analysis was made of whether significant differences exist
between the 49 local authorities which disclose financial information via the Internet
and the 43 which do not. The variable eDISCL assigns the value of 1 if the authority
discloses and 0 if it does not. Table 4 presents the results of an exploratory analysis, of
an ANOVA test of means and of a non-parametric Mann-Whitney test.
****
Table 4
****
In the case of the categorical variable BOND (issues debt), a contingency table
was calculated, as shown in Table 5. Pearson's chi-square was calculated to analyse
whether the differences are significant.
****
Table 5
****

6. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS


The fulfilment of the hypotheses proposed is analysed below.

6.1. Result of the hypothesis test


Table 4 shows that councils which disclose financial information are, on average,
almost three times larger than those which do not. These differences are significant in
the two variables regarding size, POPUL and REVEN, for both the parametric ANOVA
test and the non-parametric Mann-Whitney test. We may conclude that the data support
Hypothesis 1 i.e. there exists a positive association between size and e-disclosure.

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With regard to the fulfilment of Hypothesis 2, Table 5 shows that only 12


councils issue debt (BOND). Of these, 11 disclose and 1 does not. The differences are
statistically significant. Although no legal restrictions exist, it is true that only large
town halls have made use of this financing possibility; Burgos, which has 170,000
inhabitants, is the smallest. When a statistical test is performed, a statistically significant
relation is observable between municipality size and BOND. The cause is no doubt the
financial complexity and the cost of access to these financial markets.
With regard to the fulfilment of Hypothesis 3, the results of the hypothesis test
found no relation between the 5 variables analysed (INV, TAX, SELF, FINANC, and
OPERAT) and e-disclosure. The result is in line with those of the studies mentioned
above, since it confirms the belief that many of them are usually inconclusive. We
believe that the lack of a relationship between financial features and disclosure is a
reflection of maturity, characteristic of cities of the size analysed.
With regard to the political aspects affecting local public administrations
(Hypothesis 4), the candidate/councillor ratio (COMP) is greater in local authorities
which disclose financial information, and these differences are statistically significant.
Given such result, indications exist that certain political factors affecting town halls are
related to the disclosure of financial information. Although there also exist positive
differences between those who govern in coalition (COAL) these are not statistically
significantly. Finally, political orientation (POLOR) is not a significant variable.
With regard to Hypothesis 5, concerning local authority Internet strategy, Table
4 shows that, on average, local authorities which disclose financial information provide
almost twice as many services to citizens via the Internet (eSERV) as those which do
not. The differences are significant, and there are also significant differences in the
eCONT variable, which measures the contents of the municipal website. Table 4 also
shows significant differences regarding the variable which measures the number of
municipal initiatives encouraging electronic democracy (eDEM). The data support
hypothesis 5 i.e. there is a positive association between e-government and e-disclosure.
With regard to the Internet visibility variables (Hypothesis 6), Table 4 shows
that, on average, local authorities which disclose financial information are more visible,
as measured by the number of incoming links (LINKS) and the posts on blogs linked to

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the municipal website (POSTS). The differences are also significant. It should be noted
that these two variables do not meet the requirements of normality and non-parametric
tests must be employed.
Turning to Hypothesis 7, Table 4 shows that, on average, residents in cities
which disclose financial information have relatively high incomes (WEALTH). The
differences are statistically significant. With regard to Internet access we have already
stated in the paper that we do believe that this is relevant and important but,
unfortunately, such data are not available in Spain at municipal level. What we are
however able to do is calculate Pearsons correlation coefficient between income level at
the Autonomous Community level and the level of Internet access. The correlation
coefficient displays a high, positive and statistically significant value (0.868). The strong
relation between income and access to the Internet is thereby confirmed; in other words,
and at least in Spain, money matters. Prudence thus dictates the extraction of no further
conclusions.
In the case of education level and socio-political factors, (Hypothesis 8) Table 4
shows that, on average, local authorities which disclose financial information are located
in regions with a high level of community involvement (ASSOC). However, these
differences are not significant. Neither can significant differences be observed with
regard to voter turnout (VOTE), which is slightly higher in the case of town halls least
prone to disclose information. Paradoxes occasionally occur; for example, turnout is
lower in countries in which democracy is longerstanding (Franklin, 2004). The
empirical study finds that the relationship between the average number of years of
education (EDU) and e-disclosure is positive and statistically significant at 1% level.

6.2. Regression results


The relationships between the variables were analysed by calculating the Pearson
and Spearman correlation coefficients for the 19 continuous variables (Table 6).
****
Table 6
****

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When analysing Table 6, the positive and significant correlation between the
variables of size and e-government via the Internet is striking. One explanation is that
the implementation of services to citizens via the Internet is costly, and thus larger
councils are better equipped to offer the possibility of performing a larger number of
transactions on their websites.
It is only to be expected that there exists a positive correlation among the three
egovernment variables (eDEM, eSERV and eCONT), since town halls which offer
many services online frequently incorporate informational content into their web pages
and are notable for their e-democracy initiatives. This is not always the case, however;
for example, some town halls in tourist areas offer a complete range of information, but
nevertheless scarcely develop the online procedures aspect. Pearsons correlation
coefficient between eDEM and eSERV is 0.22; between eDEM and eCONT it is 0.30;
and between eSERV and eCONT it is 0.69. These values are positive and statistically
significant, but in line with expectations.
Virtual shops use a number of strategies to increase their Internet visibility. One
of them is to offer free content; one example might be a mountain-climbing equipment
shop which edits an online magazine and maintains a forum. Municipal web sites who
offer substantial content also increase their Internet visibility. For instance, those who
have placed online the catalogue of paintings being displayed in the local museum will
increase their Internet visibility. This is why we expect to find a positive correlation
between the variables which measure e-government and those which measure Internet
visibility. Nevertheless, website visibility can also be increased using Search Engine
Optimization (SEO) techniques; these require the website to be redesigned in technical
terms. Table 6 shows that the highest value of Pearsons correlation coefficient between
the variables eSERV and LINKS is 0.4. There is a positive and statistically significant
correlation between Internet visibility and electronic government, but no more than
expected.
It can be observed that EDU (average number of years of education) is related to
the other social variables i.e. ASSOC (the Number of community associations, divided
by the number of inhabitants) and VOTE (Voter turnout), which seems coherent.
Concerning the remaining correlations EDU is related to WEALTH, which likewise is
coherent, since university graduates have higher incomes. From among the variables
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related to electronic government, the only one which is positively correlated to EDU is
eCONT, which measures the content of the municipal website. No correlation was
detected between EDU and eSERV, which measures the services provided by town halls
via the Internet. Neither was any correlation found between EDU and eDEM, or
electronic democracy. Cities such as Pozuelo, in which the variable EDU attains an
average of 12.57 years, compared to an average of scarcely 8.48 years in other cities.
43% of the residents of Pozuelo, a city on the outskirts of Madrid, are full university
graduates, while the figures for other municipal districts exceed with difficulty 5%.
These figures motivated us to analyse the subject in greater depth.
Although the data indicate that a relation exists between citizens educational
level and e-disclosure, the confidence level is low. Thus, the supply of and demand for
information and municipal services is unbalanced. Katchanovski and La Porte (2005)
coined the term Potemkin E-villages to refer to government webpages which nobody
consults and are little more than an elaborate facade designed to create the impression of
open electronic government. We believe that the opposite effect is more worrying: some
Spanish cities have inhabitants with a high educational level and social commitment, but
whose municipal webpages do not meet the expectations and needs of citizens, since
they do not offer services via the Internet which would no doubt be in high demand. We
believe that these town halls should make an effort to improve their municipal
webpages.
We now attempt to model the factors influencing e-disclosure, employing a
logistic regression. The dependent variable (eDISCL) assigns the value of 1 if the local
council discloses financial information via the Internet and 0 if it does not. Table 7
presents the results of the regression.
****
Table 7
****
Concerning logistic regression, we employed a model selection technique in
order to determine the variables which form part of the model, in an attempt to identify a
parsimonious model. We performed the usual tests for multicollinearity and likewise the

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variance inflation factor (VIF). According to Kleinbaum et al. (1988), multicollinearity


exists if the VIF is greater than 5. The test did not detected multicollinearity in the
variables which comprise the final model; the VIF values range between 1.05 and 1.21.
The significant variables which enter the model are size- measured by the
logarithm of the number of inhabitants in the local authority (LnPOPUL), the income
level of citizens (WEALTH) and the number of e-democracy actions implemented
(eDEM). Larger town councils which have chosen the political option to encourage edemocracy and whose citizens enjoy a relatively high standard of living tend to edisclose more. The signs of the coefficients are those expected i.e. always positive.
Nagelkerkes R2 is 0.328, in line with similar studies.
We shall attempt to make a parsimonious interpretation of the results obtained.
Large cities have the resources available to offer more services to their citizens via the
Internet. The disclosure of financial information forms part of their strategy, as simply
another service to citizens. Town halls which politically support e-democracy initiatives
are also the most transparent with regard to Internet financial reporting. A higher
standard of living of citizens is reflected in greater utilisation of technologies and a
higher demand for services and information, including financial data, via the Internet. Edisclosure is a question of size, political will and citizens standard of living.

7. CONCLUSIONS
More and more, the Internet is the medium chosen by public administrations to
disclose financial information to citizens. The present study proposes hypotheses
regarding the factors which encourage local authorities to report financial information
via the Internet. The hypotheses were tested in an empirical study of Spanish town
councils.
The first group of hypotheses concerns the characteristics of town halls. We
suggest that larger councils, which obtain finance in the financial markets, are more
likely to disclose financial information via the Internet. The data support the hypotheses
proposed. No statistically significant relationship is apparent between e-disclosure and
financial features of the entity.
The second group of hypotheses concerns political aspects. It is found that
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councils which have made greater efforts to implement e-government are more likely to
disclose financial information via the Internet. There exist indications that political
factors affecting town halls are related to Internet financial reporting, and in particular a
statistically significant association can be observed between the political competition
and e-disclosure.
The third group of hypotheses concerns the local environment. It is found that
local councils whose residents have a high standard of living and have a high education
level disclose more financial information via the Internet.
Laswad et al (2005) find, for New Zealand local governments, that citizens
income level, media pressure and the type of entity influence e-disclosure. Our study
confirms these hypotheses, although media pressure was measured by Internet visibility.
New explanatory hypotheses at the level of e-government and e-democracy have been
added. Styles and Tennyson (2007) examine the accessibility of local government
financial reports on the Internet for a sample of US municipalities of varying size. The
accessibility of the data is positively related to both the number of residents and
residents income per capita. Municipalities in a poorer financial position provided less
convenient access to town hall financial data on the Internet, which indicates the
continued influence of debt markets on public sector financial reporting. Our study
found no relation between financial position and e-disclosure. We also confirm that
municipality size, citizens economic level and the existence of municipal bonds affect
the publication of financial data online.
E-disclosure was modelled using logistic regression, which included as
explanatory factors size (measured by the number of inhabitants), political will
(measured by councils experience with e-democracy) and the local standard of living
(measured by citizens' per capita income).
Finally, it must be emphasised that the level of e-disclosure in Spanish local
administrations is still very low. The present study shows that the largest councils
disclose most information, but to report information on a website is neither especially
costly nor complicated. Traditionally, it has been expensive to disclose accounting
information, but the Internet provides an economical channel to do so. We must
recognise that many adolescents have blogs whose content is greater than that of the

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financial information included in the websites of cities with hundreds of thousands of


inhabitants. We believe that politicians must make increasing use of the Internet to
disclose financial information.

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Journal of Accounting Research 15, Suppl., 107-144

33

DTECONZ 2008-03: C. Serrano, M. Rueda & P. Portillo

Municipality
Albacete
Alcal de Henares
Alcobendas

Website
albacete.com
ayto-alcaladehenares.es
alcobendas.org

Municipality Website
Getxo getxo.net
Gijn ayto-gijon.es
Girona ajuntament.gi

Municipality Website
Pozuelo de Alarcn ayto-pozuelo.es
Puerto Sta Mara
Reus

Alcorcn

ayto-alcorcon.es

Granada granada.org

Algeciras

ayto-algeciras.es

Guadalajara guadalajara.es

Alicante

alicante-ayto.es

Almera

aytoalmeria.es

Huelva ayuntamientohuelva.es

San Fernando

aytosanfernando.org

vila

ayuntavila.com

Huesca ayuntamientohuesca.es

San Sebastin

donostia.org

Avils

ayto-aviles.es

Jan aytojaen.es

Badajoz

aytobadajoz.es

Jerez webjerez.com

Badalona

aj-badalona.es

Baracaldo

barakaldo.org

Barcelona

bcn.es

Bilbao
Burgos
Cceres
Cdiz
Cartagena
Castelln

bilbao.net

Hospitalet

l-h.es

Legans leganes.org
Len aytoleon.com

Lorca ayuntalorca.es
Lugo concellodelugo.org

Santander

Sevilla
Soria

Madrid munimadrid.es

Talavera

ayto-cartagena.com

Mlaga ayto-malaga.es

Tarragona

ayuncas.es

Marbella marbella.es
Matar mataro.org
Melilla camelilla.es

Cornell

cornellaweb.com

Murcia ayto-murcia.es

Corua

aytolacoruna.es

Coslada

ayto-coslada.es
cuenca.org

Ourense ourense.es
Oviedo ayto-oviedo.es
Palencia palencia.com

doshermanas.es

Palma de Mallorca a-palma.es

Elche

ayto-elche.es

Palmas G Canaria laspalmasgc.es

Ferrol

ferrol-concello.es
ayto-fuenlabrada.es
ayto-getafe.org

Pamplona pamplona.net
Parla ayuntamientoparla.es
Pontevedra concellopontevedra.es

Table 1. List of councils analysed and their websites

sabadell.net
aytosalamanca.es
aytolalaguna.com

stboi.es
grame.net

Sta Cruz Tenerife sctfe.es

cadizayto.es

Mstoles ayto-mostoles.es

34

Sta C Gramenet

Segovia

ayuncordoba.es

Getafe

Sant Boi

Logroo logro-o.org

Crdoba

Fuenlabrada

San C de La Laguna

Santiago

ayto-caceres.es

Ceuta ciceuta.es

Cuenca

Salamanca

Lrida paeria.es

aytoburgos.es

Ciudad Real ayto-ciudadreal.es

Dos Hermanas

Sabadell

elpuertosm.es
reus.net

Telde
Terrassa

ayto-santander.es
santiagodecompostela.org
segovia.es
sevilla.org
ayto-soria.org
talavera.org
ajtarragona.es
ayuntamientodetelde.org
terrassa.org

Teruel

teruel.net

Toledo

ayto-toledo.org

Torrejn de Ardoz

ayto-torrejon.es

Torrevieja
Valencia
Valladolid
Vigo
Vitoria-Gasteiz
Zamora
Zaragoza

ayto.torrevieja.infoville.net
valencia.es
ava.es
vigo.org
vitoria-gasteiz.org
ayto-zamora.org
ayto-zaragoza.es

DTECONZ 2008-03: C. Serrano, M. Rueda & P. Portillo

Financial information disclosed via the Internet


Discloses financial information regarding budget or annual accounts (e-DISCL)

N (%)
49 (53.26%)

1. Individual budget of the council (BUDG1)

47 (51,08%)

2. Consolidated budget of the council (BUDG2)

33 (35.86%)

3. Budget of dependent entities (BUDG3)

36 (39.13%)

4. Budget disaggregated by economic, functional or organic classification (BUDG4)

26 (28.26%)

5. Budget information regarding investment, borrowing or revenue and expenditure (BUDG5)

12 (13.04%)

6. Individual annual accounts (ACC1)

1 (1.08%)

7. Consolidated annual accounts (ACC2)

1 (1.08%)

8. Annual accounts of dependent entities (ACC3)


9. Audit report (AUDIT)

0 (0%)
2 (2.17%)

Table 2. Financial variables and number (percentage) of councils which disclose such
information.

35

DTECONZ 2008-03: C. Serrano, M. Rueda & P. Portillo

Variable
H1. Size

Definition

POPUL

Number of inhabitants of the municipality

REVEN

Budget revenue

H2. Listed

BOND

H3. Financial
features

INV

Investment per inhabitant

TAX

Tax burden per inhabitant

SELF

H4. Political

H6. Internet
visibility
H7. Income level
of citizens
H8. Sociopolitical,
education

Tax revenue / Operating revenue

FINANC

Financial expenses / Total expenses

OPERAT

Operating expenses / Total expenses

COMP

Political competition. Candidates/councillors ratio

COAL

Coalition government.

POLOR
H5. e-government

Issue debt. Dichotomic 0-1

eDEM

Political orientation of the government in power


Number of e-democracy actions implemented

eCONT

Contents offered on the municipal website

eSERV

Number of services offered via the Internet

LINKS
POSTS
WEALTH
VOTE
ASSOC
EDU

Link popularity. Number of incoming links according to MSN


Number of posts on blogs according to Technorati
Disposable family income per inhabitant of the municipality
Voter turnout
Number of community associations, divided by the number of inhabitants
Average years of school

Table 3. Variables employed for the hypothesis testing and their definition

36

DTECONZ 2008-03: C. Serrano, M. Rueda & P. Portillo

Disclose or not financial info.


Variable
H1
POPUL

PRES
H3
INV

TAX

SELF

FINANC

OPERAT
H4
COMP

COAL

POLOR
H5
eDEM

eSERV

eCONT
H6
LINKS

POSTS
H7
WEALTH
H8
VOTE

ASSOC

EDU

Councils (n=92)

No disclosure
(n=43)

Disclosure (n=49)

Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median

217,874
134,515
363,609
197,841,045
119,791,865
398,768,375
200.48
178.06

120,407
94,967
54,616
103,251,661
84,136,209
59,622,273
195.48
173.68

303,405
156,592
481,730
280,848,055
153,172,000
532,267,710
204.88
199.63

Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.
Mean
Median
Std Dev.

133.00
440.45
398.88
198.81
0.613
0.625
0.090
0.025
0.023
0.012
0.732
0.727
0.090
0.299
0.296
0.073
0.978
0
1.138
3.446
3
3.232
0.99
1
0.932
35.17
32
21.85
26.77
27
7.42
3,472
2,086
6,242
10.08
7
10.55
5.85
6
1.96
62.94
64
5.94
5.88
5
4.72
10.17
10.22
0.75

143.72
445.74
403.89
218.69
0.625
0.634
0.085
0.023
0.021
0.012
0.742
0.732
0.087
0.282
0.286
0.063
1
0
1.234
3.163
2
3.154
0.77
1
0.895
26.44
23
15.92
24.04
25
6.42
2,232
1,334
2,527
7.65
6
7.90
5.30
5
1.75
63.08
63.8
5.82
5.44
4.65
3.52
10.02
9.99
0.77

124.18
435.81
394.92
181.78
0.603
0.613
0.094
0.026
0.025
0.012
0.723
0.727
0.092
0.315
0.327
0.079
0.959
0
1.059
3.693
5
3.311
1.18
1
0.928
42.84
35
23.56
29.16
29
7.48
4,559
2,296
8,105
12.22
8
12.11
6.35
7
2.03
62.83
62.94
6.09
6.29
4.89
5.60
10.30
10.33
0.74

Test of means
MannANOVA
Whitney U
F (Sig.)
(Sig.)
6.127
(0.015)

624
(0.000)

4.728
(0.032)

602
(0.000)

0.113
(0.737)

978
(0.554)

0.056
(0.812)

1,019
(0.787)

1.334
(0.251)

934
(0.350)

1.078
(0.302)

858
(0.126)

0.950
(0.332)

973
(0.529)

4.885
(0.029)

785
(0.035)

0.029
(0.865)

1049
(0.972)

0.616
(0.435)

937
(0.349)

4.760
(0.032)

779
(0.023)

14.851
(0.000)

566.5
(0.000)

12.213
(0.000)

674.5
(0.003)

3.261
(0.074)

755
(0.019)

4.463
(0.037)

795.5
(0.043)

6.895
(0.010)

732
(0.011)

0.036
(0.848)

1,038
(0.903)

0.726
(0.396)

993
(0.756)

3.340
(0.071)

1754
(0.055)

Table 4. Study of Internet financial disclosure by councils. Continuous variables.

37

DTECONZ 2008-03: C. Serrano, M. Rueda & P. Portillo

H2

No
disclosure

Disclosure

Total

Pearson Chi-Square

BOND

11

12

8.177 (0.004)

Non-BOND

42

38

80

Total

43

49

92

Table 5. Study of Internet financial disclosure by councils. Categorical variable.

38

WEALTH

POLOR

OPERAT
.02

.22*

-.06

-.08

.04

.47**

.40**

.56**

.12

.19

.05

.53**

.12

.24*

.22*

.32**

-.04

-.10

.01

.62**

.47**

.50**

.42**

.01

-.13

.18

.02

.09

.05

-.19

.13

-.05

.22*

-.03

-.07

.03

.42**

.37**

.59**

.09

.24*

.07

.52**

.13

.18

.13

-.30**

.12

-.01

.43**

-.03

-.15

.08

.53**

.40**

.53**

.42**

.11

-.01

.22*

.13

.60**

.06

-.42**

-.75**

.19

.05

-.17

.02

-.20

-.16

.04

-.07

.27**

.23*

.07

.15

.39**

.00

-.41**

-.85**

.14

.05

-.11

.00

-.17

-.11

-.07

-.09

.36**

.33**

.08

.32**

.47**

-.07

-.12

.15

-.07

-.08

.08

-.13

-.10

.09

-.02

.10

-.01

.08

-.01

.57**

.03

-.17

.07

-.02

-.04

.11

-.08

.01

.10

.03

.23*

.15

.17

.31**

.07

-.04

-.10

-.18

.04

.06

-.23*

-.10

-.19

-.27**

-.05

-.02

.16

.01

.02

-.05

-.06

-.20

.00

.10

-.21*

-.10

-.03

-.16

-.01

.00

.16

.07

.45**

.09

.10

.15

-.03

.16

.05

.15

-.13

-.09

-.14

.03

-.11

.38**

.09

.10

.16

.04

.21*

.05

.15

-.03

-.10

-.17

.08

-.13

-.08

-.06

-.01

-.04

.16

.07

-.02

.13

-.22*

-.29**

-.07

-.24*

-.05

-.08

-.07

.00

.16

.08

.14

.17

-.26*

-.33**

-.10

-.31**

.13

-.09

.05

.20

.21*

.26*

.21*

.28**

.03

.19

.17

.16

-.03

.08

.24*

.14

.27**

.22*

.28**

.01

.17

.17

INV

COMP
COAL
POLOR
eDEM
eSERV
eCONT
LINKS

POSTS

.16

-.37**

eSERV

-.22*

-.23*

eDEM

-.05

-.21*

COAL

-.02

.84**

COMP

.99**

SELF

TAX

EDU

OPERAT

ASSOC

FINANC

VOTE

SELF

LINKS

TAX

eCONT

INV

PRES

PRES

POPUL
POPUL

FINANC

DTECONZ 2008-03: C. Serrano, M. Rueda & P. Portillo

.51**

.11

.18

.10

.13

.27**

.28**

-.01

-.29**

-.04

.57**

.09

.18

.13

-.02

.25*

.26*

-.03

-.33**

-.06

.03

.16

.11

.09

.11

.08

-.16

-.24*

-.22*

.01

.12

.06

-.04

.11

.10

-.16

-.21*

-.21*

.22*

.30**

.07

.20

.02

.13

.17

.13

.23*

.27**

.24*

.34**

.05

.12

.21*

.16

.69**

.40**

.31**

.19

-.09

.11

.03

.67**

.47**

.42**

.22*

-.13

-.04

.07

.34**

.32**

.35**

.15

.24*

.21*

.40**

.36**

.36**

.16

.08

.22*

.28**

.29**

-.05

.02

.11

.50**

.18

-.13

.08

.12

.19

-.05

-.02

.16

.10

-.11

-.02

.10

.41**

.14

.44**

.39**

-.02

.41**

.39**

.58**

.44**

.59**

.46**

.49**

POSTS
WEALTH

VOTE
ASSOC

EDU

Table 6. Correlation coefficients. First line, Pearsons. Second line, Spearmans.


** significant at the 0.01 level
* significant at the 0.05 level

39

DTECONZ 2008-03: C. Serrano, M. Rueda & P. Portillo

Expected sign
Constant

Coefficient

Wald

Significance

-19.417

12.964

0.000

LnPOPUL

1.441

10.861

0.001

WEALTH

0.340

6.494

0.011

eDEM

0.555

4.314

0.038

Note: N=92 cases; -2 Log likelihood = 101.200; Nagelkerke R2 = 0.328; Chi square =
25.947; significance of Chi square =0.000
Correctly predicted percentage. NonREV=67.4 REV= 77.6; overall=72.8

eDISCL = Dummy variable takes value of 1 if the council discloses financial


information
LnPOPUL = Number of inhabitants logarithm
WEALTH = Per capita income in the municipality
eDEM = Number of e-democracy actions implemented

Table 7. Multivariate Logistic Regression

40

DTECONZ 2008-03: C. Serrano, M. Rueda & P. Portillo

DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO
Facultad de Ciencias Econmicas y Empresariales
Universidad de Zaragoza

2002-01: Evolution of Spanish Urban Structure During the Twentieth Century.


Luis Lanaspa, Fernando Pueyo y Fernando Sanz. Department of Economic Analysis,
University of Zaragoza.
2002-02: Una Nueva Perspectiva en la Medicin del Capital Humano. Gregorio
Gimnez y Blanca Simn. Departamento de Estructura, Historia Econmica y
Economa Pblica, Universidad de Zaragoza.
2002-03: A Practical Evaluation of Employee Productivity Using a Professional
Data Base. Raquel Ortega. Department of Business, University of Zaragoza.
2002-04: La Informacin Financiera de las Entidades No Lucrativas: Una
Perspectiva Internacional. Isabel Brusca y Caridad Mart. Departamento de
Contabilidad y Finanzas, Universidad de Zaragoza.
2003-01: Las Opciones Reales y su Influencia en la Valoracin de Empresas.
Manuel Espitia y Gema Pastor. Departamento de Economa y Direccin de Empresas,
Universidad de Zaragoza.
2003-02: The Valuation of Earnings Components by the Capital Markets. An
International Comparison. Susana Callao, Beatriz Cuellar, Jos Ignacio Jarne and Jos
Antonio Lanez. Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Zaragoza.
2003-03: Selection of the Informative Base in ARMA-GARCH Models. Laura
Muoz, Pilar Olave and Manuel Salvador. Department of Statistics Methods,
University of Zaragoza.
2003-04: Structural Change and Productive Blocks in the Spanish Economy: An
Imput-Output Analysis for 1980-1994. Julio Snchez Chliz and Rosa Duarte.
Department of Economic Analysis, University of Zaragoza.
2003-05: Automatic Monitoring and Intervention in Linear Gaussian State-Space
Models: A Bayesian Approach. Manuel Salvador and Pilar Gargallo. Department of
Statistics Methods, University of Zaragoza.
2003-06: An Application of the Data Envelopment Analysis Methodology in the
Performance Assessment of the Zaragoza University Departments. Emilio Martn.
Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Zaragoza.
2003-07: Harmonisation at the European Union: a difficult but needed task. Ana
Yetano Snchez. Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Zaragoza.

41

DTECONZ 2008-03: C. Serrano, M. Rueda & P. Portillo

2003-08: The investment activity of spanish firms with tangible and intangible
assets. Manuel Espitia and Gema Pastor. Department of Business, University of
Zaragoza.
2004-01: Persistencia en la performance de los fondos de inversin espaoles de
renta variable nacional (1994-2002). Luis Ferruz y Mara S. Vargas. Departamento de
Contabilidad y Finanzas, Universidad de Zaragoza.
2004-02: Calidad institucional y factores poltico-culturales: un panorama
internacional por niveles de renta. Jos Aixal, Gema Fabro y Blanca Simn.
Departamento de Estructura, Historia Econmica y Economa Pblica, Universidad de
Zaragoza.
2004-03: La utilizacin de las nuevas tecnologas en la contratacin pblica. Jos
M Gimeno Feli. Departamento de Derecho Pblico, Universidad de Zaragoza.
2004-04: Valoracin econmica y financiera de los trasvases previstos en el Plan
Hidrolgico Nacional espaol. Pedro Arrojo Agudo. Departamento de Anlisis
Econmico, Universidad de Zaragoza. Laura Snchez Gallardo. Fundacin Nueva
Cultura del Agua.
2004-05: Impacto de las tecnologas de la informacin en la productividad de las
empresas espaolas. Carmen Galve Gorriz y Ana Gargallo Castel. Departamento de
Economa y Direccin de Empresas. Universidad de Zaragoza.
2004-06: National and International Income Dispersin and Aggregate
Expenditures. Carmen Fillat. Department of Applied Economics and Economic
History, University of Zaragoza. Joseph Francois. Tinbergen Institute Rotterdam and
Center for Economic Policy Resarch-CEPR.
2004-07: Targeted Advertising with Vertically Differentiated Products. Lola
Esteban and Jos M. Hernndez. Department of Economic Analysis. University of
Zaragoza.
2004-08: Returns to education and to experience within the EU: are there differences
between wage earners and the self-employed?. Inmaculada Garca Mainar. Department
of Economic Analysis. University of Zaragoza. Vctor M. Montuenga Gmez.
Department of Business. University of La Rioja
2005-01: E-government and the transformation of public administrations in EU
countries: Beyond NPM or just a second wave of reforms?. Lourdes Torres, Vicente
Pina and Sonia Royo. Department of Accounting and Finance.University of Zaragoza
2005-02: Externalidades tecnolgicas internacionales y productividad de la
manufactura: un anlisis sectorial. Carmen Lpez Pueyo, Jaime Sanau y Sara
Barcenilla. Departamento de Economa Aplicada. Universidad de Zaragoza.
2005-03: Detecting Determinism Using Recurrence Quantification Analysis: Three
Test Procedures. Mara Teresa Aparicio, Eduardo Fernndez Pozo and Dulce Saura.
Department of Economic Analysis. University of Zaragoza.

42

DTECONZ 2008-03: C. Serrano, M. Rueda & P. Portillo

2005-04: Evaluating Organizational Design Through Efficiency Values: An


Application To The Spanish First Division Soccer Teams. Manuel Espitia Escuer and
Luca Isabel Garca Cebrin. Department of Business. University of Zaragoza.
2005-05: From Locational Fundamentals to Increasing Returns: The Spatial
Concentration of Population in Spain, 1787-2000. Mara Isabel Ayuda. Department of
Economic Analysis. University of Zaragoza. Fernando Collantes and Vicente Pinilla.
Department of Applied Economics and Economic History. University of Zaragoza.
2005-06: Model selection strategies in a spatial context. Jess Mur and Ana
Angulo. Department of Economic Analysis. University of Zaragoza.
2005-07: Conciertos educativos y seleccin acadmica y social del alumnado.
Mara Jess Mancebn Torrubia. Departamento de Estructura e Historia Econmica y
Economa Pblica. Universidad de Zaragoza. Domingo Prez Ximnez de Embn.
Departamento de Anlisis Econmico. Universidad de Zaragoza.
2005-08: Product differentiation in a mixed duopoly. Agustn Gil. Department of
Economic Analysis. University of Zaragoza.
2005-09: Migration dynamics, growth and convergence. Gemma Larramona and
Marcos Sanso. Department of Economic Analysis. University of Zaragoza.
2005-10: Endogenous longevity, biological deterioration and economic growth.
Marcos Sanso and Rosa Mara Asa. Department of Economic Analysis. University of
Zaragoza.
2006-01: Good or bad? - The influence of FDI on output growth. An industry-level
analysis. Carmen Fillat Castejn. Department of Applied Economics and Economic
History. University of Zaragoza. Julia Woerz. The Vienna Institute for International
Economic Studies and Tinbergen Institute, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
2006-02: Performance and capital structure of privatized firms in the European
Union. Patricia Bachiller y M Jos Arcas. Departamento de Contabilidad y Finanzas.
Universidad de Zaragoza.
2006-03: Factors explaining the rating of Microfinance Institutions.
Begoa Gutirrez Nieto and Carlos Serrano Cinca. Department of
Accounting and Finance. University of Saragossa, Spain.
2006-04: Libertad econmica y convergencia en argentina: 1875-2000. Isabel Sanz
Villarroya. Departamento de Estructura, Historia Econmica y Economa Pblica.
Universidad de Zaragoza. Leandro Prados de la Escosura. Departamento de H e
Instituciones Ec. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
2006-05: How Satisfied are Spouses with their Leisure Time? Evidence from
Europe*. Inmaculada Garca, Jos Alberto Molina y Mara Navarro. University of
Zaragoza.

43

DTECONZ 2008-03: C. Serrano, M. Rueda & P. Portillo

2006-06: Una estimacin macroeconmica de los determinantes salariales en Espaa


(1980-2000). Jos Aixal Past y Carmen Pelet Redn. Departamento de Estructura,
Historia Econmica y Economa Pblica. Universidad de Zaragoza.
2006-07: Causes of World Trade Growth in Agricultural and Food Products, 1951
2000. Ral Serrano and Vicente Pinilla. Department of Applied Economics and
Economic History, University of Zaragoza, Gran Via 4, 50005 Zaragoza (Spain).
2006-08: Prioritisation of patients on waiting lists: a community workshop
approach. Angelina Lzaro Alquzar. Facultad de Derecho, Facultad de Econmicas.
University of Zaragoza. Zaragoza, Spain. Begoa lvarez-Farizo. C.I.T.A.- Unidad de
Economa. Zaragoza, Spain
2007-01: Deteminantes del comportamiento variado del consumidor en el escenario
de Compra. Carmn Bern Manero y Noem Martnez Caraballo. Departamento de
Economa y Direccin de Empresas. Universidad de Zaragoza.
2007-02: Alternative measures for trade restrictiveness. A gravity approach.
Carmen Fillat & Eva Pardos. University of Zaragoza.
2007-03: Entrepreneurship, Management Services and Economic
Growth. Vicente Salas Fums & J. Javier Snchez Asn. Departamento de
Economa y Direccin de Empresas. University of Zaragoza.
2007-04: Equality versus Equity based pay systems and their effects on rational
altruism motivation in teams: Wicked masked altruism. Javier Garca Bernal & Marisa
Ramrez Alern. University of Zaragoza.
2007-05: Macroeconomic outcomes and the relative position of Argentinas
Economy: 1875-2000. Isabel Sanz Villarroya. University of Zaragoza.
2008-01: Vertical product differentiation with subcontracting. Joaqun Andaluz
Funcia. University of Zaragoza.
2008-02: The motherwood wage penalty in a mediterranean country: The case of
Spain Jose Alberto Molina Chueca & Victor Manuel Montuenga Gmez. University of
Zaragoza.
2008-03: Factors influencing e-disclosure in local public administrations. Carlos
Serrano Cinca, Mar Rueda Toms & Pilar Portillo Tarragona. Departamento de
Contabilidad y Finanzas. Universidad de Zaragoza.

44